Getting Support - Where to Call
A mental illness in the family can lead to all kinds of situations. Knowing whom to call for help is often half the battle. For local resources and support groups, please contact our affiliates.
See local listings Affiliate_Support_group_Listing
Following is a list of phone numbers that may be of help. To recommend additions to this list, please email us: NAMI-NYS.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: 202-966-7300 (information and referrals on child/adolescent psychiatrists)
Families Together: 888-326-8644 (hotline, family support groups, information/referrals, advocacy)
NYS Coalition for Children’s Mental Health Services: 518-436-8715 (advocacy, education, information and referrals) ADD: Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD): 800-233-4050
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NYS Justice Center: 1-855-373-2122 (abuse line); 1-800-624-4143 (Information & Referrals line) (For problems concerning inpatient and outpatient treatment)
NYS Office of Mental Health main hotline: 1-800-597-8481
NYS Office of Mental Health Family Liaison: 518-474-4888 (Assists families in advocating for loved one in hospital or clinic settings)
NYS Office of Consumer Affairs: 518-474-8583; 800-697-1220 (Consumer Assistance Hotline) (Peer advocates assist consumers with problems with treatment, getting services)
Compeer Program: 800-836-0475 (Pairs up volunteers with individuals with mental illness for companionship)
Mental Health Empowerment Project: 1-800-643-7462; 518-434-1393 (for list of self-help groups)
NYS Justice Center for Protection of People with Special Needs: 800-624-4143 (Advocates for and represents people with special needs who are being discriminated against and/or mistreated)
ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act Information Line: 800-514-0301 (information about the law).
DRUG ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS:
InCareRx: 800-286-9589 (Program designed to help those without insurance obtain medication at a discounted price)
Partnership for Prescription Assistance: 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669) (Provides consumers with assistance obtaining free or discounted medication
National Association for the Dually Diagnosed: 800-331-5362 (advocacy, education, some referrals)
Capital District Center for Independence, Inc. 845 Central Avenue, South 3, Albany, NY 12206. 518.459.6422
Mental Illness and Substance Abuse:
OASAS - Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services: 1-877-846-7369; 518-473-3460 (local); 1-800-553-5790 (Program information)
SAMSHA: Find treatment centers using address and/or zip code for substance abuse and mental illness treatment
Help Guide: Information on understanding and trying to help people suffering from mental illness and substance abuse
National Eating Disorders Association: 1-800-931-2237 (Information and referral helpline); 212-575-6200 (Administrative office) (assist in referrals, finding support groups, giving information)
Health Insurance Hotline: 800-333-4114
NYS Insurance Department: 800-342-3736(this is the number I got off of their website); 800-342-3355 (Gas & Electric shutoff line)
NYS Attorney General Health Care Bureau: 1-800-771-7755 (General help line for calls made within New York State); 1-800-788-9898 (toll free line)
SPOA - Single Point of Access/CUCS: 212-801-3300
Association for Community Living: 518-688-1682 (information on housing options and referrals)
Community Access Inc: 212-780-1400 (resources and advocacy in the NYC area)
Corporation for Supportive Housing: 212-986-2966 (advocacy, information and referrals and housing services)
INFORMATION ON MENTAL HEALTH:
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: 800-424-3688 (Organization committed to enhancing the abilities of professionals who work with the mentally ill, also works to normalize mental illness in society)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Information about mental illness, how to help people with mental illness, & resources for helping those with mental illness
Legal Referral Service (Sponsored by the NYS Bar Association): 800-342-3661
Mental Hygiene Legal Service
For Assistance, contact MHLS through a Department Office:
First Judicial Department
(Counties served: Bronx and Manhattan) NY Courts
Second Judicial Department
(Counties served: Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester) NY Courts
Third Judicial Department
(Counties served: Albany, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Madison, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, and Washington) NY Courts
Fourth Judicial Department
(Counties served: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates) NY Courts
Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York: 800-462-2922 (Covers Albany area, but can give other regional numbers)
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI): 800-993-8982 (Advocates for and protects those with mental illness who are being mistreated and discriminated against)
National Clearing House for Long-Term Care Information: 800-563-4916 (information on diseases in older adults, help with information on illnesses & long-term care) (information on wills, trusts, guardianship, some referrals)
New York State Medicaid Helpline: 1-800-541-2831; Medicaid Fraud line: 1-877-87FRAUD
Basic Information Line for sign-up/eligibility: 800-633-4227
Medicare Hotline: 800-MEDICARE
MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION:
In New York State: 518-434-0439
National MHA: 703-684-7722
American Psychiatric Association: 1-888-357-7924
American Psychological Association: 202-336-5500 / 1-800-374-2721
Association for Children’s Mental Health: 517-372-4016 / 1-888-226-4523
National Institute of Mental Health: 1-866-615-6464 (toll free line); 301-443-4536 (press office line)
NATIONAL NAMI: 800-950-NAMI or 703-524-7600
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH: 212-219-5400
PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS:Click here for information or call: 1-800-993-8982
SOCIAL SECURITY: SSA Information Line: 800-772-1213
SOCIAL SERVICES: NYS Department of Social Services Information Line: 518-447-7300 or 518-447-7000 (general information on eligibility requirements, local office phone numbers/locations, how to get HEAP, food stamps, emergency shelter, etc.)
SUICIDE: See Preventing Suicide Click here.
SUPPORT GROUPS: Call your local affiliate. Also see listings under CONSUMER SUPPORT above.
Find Help in a Crisis
What is a crisis situation?
A “crisis” situation is happening if a person with mental illness is:
- A danger to themselves
- If other people are in danger
- If their symptoms are escalating and their behavior is becoming out of control or dangerous
How should a crisis be handled?
When a crisis occurs, it is usually not expected. It is important to be prepared for the unexpected; to have a plan in place. Create a list of important phone numbers and information. Keep it somewhere accessible; next to the phone, in your wallet, etc. Include the following information:
- Your local crisis services phone number and local ER phone number
- The name and phone number of the person’s psychiatrist and psychologist
- A list of the person’s medications (the names and dosage information)
- The person’s diagnosis and, if possible, treatment history
- The name of a friend or family member that may be of assistance
- The number for you local NAMI-NYS affiliate
- The number for the local police department
It is helpful to speak to a local mental health worker or local NAMI-NYS affiliate member ahead of time, so if services are needed you know what to expect and how to obtain them.
What services will crisis provide and how do crisis services “work”?
Most counties in New York state have 24-hour staff coverage for crisis intervention and an emergency telephone number from which services are available. The comprehensiveness of services provided from area to area vary, but nevertheless are an important point of contact in a crisis situation. These services should respond to any call for help, to conduct an evaluation and help stabilize the ill person, and provide information and comfort to family members and friends who are involved in the crisis situation.
In emergencies, local law enforcement agencies may also play an important role in obtaining mental health care. In the event of a crisis, crisis services may send an individual to evaluate the situation. That person is usually trained to conduct an evaluation for presence of serious mental illness and assess the level of dangerousness, if any. Often if the crisis worker comes to a private home or apartment to conduct an evaluation, they will bring a police officer with them for their own safety, and for the safety and protection of other people at the crisis scene. Normally the police officer is not present to arrest the ill person, unless an illegal act has been committed. However, law enforcement procedures commonly require police officers to transport the mentally ill person in a police cruiser to a hospital.
Plan Ahead: If you sense a deterioration in your friend or relative's mental condition, contact their doctor, case manager, or social worker. If this is not possible or these people do not exist in their life, call the NAMI-NYS office, local NAMI-NYS affiliate, or local mental health clinic for advice and information. If it should become necessary to call the crisis emergency telephone number or the police, have written information available about the ill person's diagnosis, medications, and specific behavior that precipitated the crisis. It may be useful to have several copies to give to the crisis intervention workers and the ER workers.